Chromecast audio - can anyone comment on sound quality?
Nov 6, 2015 at 11:23 AM Post #61 of 537

wersus

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Thanks for clarifying things up! Sadly my sound card doesn't have digital input so I guess that CA isn't for me :frowning2:.
By "native windows player" I meant all players which work with Windows. Sorry about that, I should be more clear. I do most of my listening with Qobuz streaming service and it has an WASAPI output option.
 
Nov 7, 2015 at 8:47 AM Post #62 of 537

mkozlows

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I don't post much, but just received my CCA and hooked it up to the HiFi and really surprised at the quality and am now wondering about using it with a DAC.

 
Comparing the CCA straight into an amp vs. through a DAC (Schiit Bifrost Multibit), the difference was immediately audible and significant in a way that I don't usually find DAC upgrades to be. I think it's fair to say that the analog out on the Chromecast is fairly compromised, which shouldn't be surprising -- it's a $35 USB-powered, Wifi-enabled, ultra-mini Llinux computer that oh yeah also happens to have a DAC in it. And the design use case for the analog out is powering low-quality portable speakers (a fact reflected in the default settings enabling dynamic range compression).
 
If you are concerned about sound quality, I think you'll definitely want to use the optical out at all times.
 
(Here's what's inside the Chromecast Audio; that line driver mentions a -90dB S/N ratio, which is worse than the -96dB that 16-bit audio can give you.
 
Nov 7, 2015 at 9:25 AM Post #63 of 537

Ggroch

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New Offer - $6 added to your Google Play account for each Chromecast Audio (and Nexus and Chromecast) you have.
 
Google has added a new offer that gives you $6 in play store credit to use on Android apps, music etc for each chromecast.  The offer says it is limited to $12 max, but I have 2 Chromecast audios and 1 Nexus player hooked up, and it worked for all three of them for $18 credit.  Purchased over a month ago, so they do not have to be new.
 
For windows desktop: you need to go to this url using the Chrome Browser (with Chromecast plugin installed): https://cast.google.com/chromecast/offers/ 
 
You should see the $6 credit offer, when you click it asks you to pick your chromecast device and then gives you credit.  If you have more than one device, go through the process for each device, picking a different one each time. 
 
 
I have not tried with an an android device, but it should work through the Chromecast app there (I think there is a special offers tab).
 
Nov 11, 2015 at 4:49 PM Post #65 of 537

jjmai

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How does sound quality compare between Chromecast audio and bluetooth AptX?
Does Chromecast Audio work at all without wifi?  Can it stream directly with a phone, without a wifi router?
 
Nov 12, 2015 at 3:34 PM Post #67 of 537

spanner43

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Thought i would just chime in with my experience with Chromecast audio. I have a headphone station in the living room away from my computer. I had been feeding my HD650s with a Fiio x3 through a shiit Asguard 2 amp. My music is all 16 bit flac with some higher res albums. This setup was sounding perfect to me, but I was looking for a way to stream some music without taking up to much space in the living room. I played around with my android phone , but it seemed less than perfect. I connected the Chromecast audio with the analog cable and was very pleased with the sound from  the higher bit rate options on both rhapsody and spotify. I then connected it with my schiit modi optical dac and felt a bit of improvement but couldn't really tell the deference from my streaming services. where it did shine for me was when using BubbleUPnp. Very nice user interface, I was able to access my entire music collection in flac using foobar from my home office computer. The music was streamed as 16 bit flac except for my hi res stuff which was converted too 16 bit WAV. I A/B tested the streamed flac files with the same music on my X3 and could not tell a deference. This is just my impression and obviously not a technical review, but for a nice little headphone station away from a computer this has impressed me.
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 7:38 AM Post #68 of 537

brymuse

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Just Hooked up CCA to HD650s via Graham Slee Solo SRG2 and have to admit to being disappointed at the SQ, especially the bass which I found muddy and a bit hollow. I don't have the cash to spend in a DAC in the hundreds, but could I get a significant worthwhile improvement with, say a SMSL Sanskrit or Project Dacbox E? Both of these I can get online for around £70/80.

Or would even a new DAC/amp work ala Little Dot etc?
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 10:22 AM Post #69 of 537

spanner43

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Just Hooked up CCA to HD650s via Graham Slee Solo SRG2 and have to admit to being disappointed at the SQ, especially the bass which I found muddy and a bit hollow. I don't have the cash to spend in a DAC in the hundreds, but could I get a significant worthwhile improvement with, say a SMSL Sanskrit or Project Dacbox E? Both of these I can get online for around £70/80.

Or would even a new DAC/amp work ala Little Dot etc?


Just curious what service/source was your music from? was the muddiness from all sources? I found possible muddiness when l listened to free Pandora , but found it quite clear with the 320 files from spotify. and very clear streaming local flac, even with the analog cable. Also was this with the higher quality setting on or off in the Comcast audio app? I don't doubt your findings just curious.
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 11:54 AM Post #70 of 537

brymuse

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Just curious what service/source was your music from? was the muddiness from all sources? I found possible muddiness when l listened to free Pandora , but found it quite clear with the 320 files from spotify. and very clear streaming local flac, even with the analog cable. Also was this with the higher quality setting on or off in the Comcast audio app? I don't doubt your findings just curious.


Thanks for the post. Just reevaluating now. I must admit that I can't now hear much of what I described before. The sound seems clearer, although I still hear little lower mid muddiness. A couple of caveats are that I listen to a lot of complex orchestral music where detail in that region can get lost and also I've only just dug the headphones out after moving house 6 months ago. I've been using the speaker system, so perhaps I didn't give it a fair chance. Need to burn my ears back into the HD650s perhaps...

As you asked, I'm using Nexus 6P with Chromecast (high quality enabled) and streaming with a mixture of Local Cast and Allcast as I have a lot of recordings that are 'sideloaded' so Google won't play them!
The recordings themselves are a mixture of Amazon mp3 downloads and ripped cds. Haven't tried Spotify as I'm not a big radio listener...

Still keen on the idea of whether a cheap DAC would be a good idea though?
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 12:27 PM Post #71 of 537

spanner43

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Thanks for the post. Just reevaluating now. I must admit that I can't now hear much of what I described before. The sound seems clearer, although I still hear little lower mid muddiness. A couple of caveats are that I listen to a lot of complex orchestral music where detail in that region can get lost and also I've only just dug the headphones out after moving house 6 months ago. I've been using the speaker system, so perhaps I didn't give it a fair chance. Need to burn my ears back into the HD650s perhaps...

As you asked, I'm using Nexus 6P with Chromecast (high quality enabled) and streaming with a mixture of Local Cast and Allcast as I have a lot of recordings that are 'sideloaded' so Google won't play them!
The recordings themselves are a mixture of Amazon mp3 downloads and ripped cds. Haven't tried Spotify as I'm not a big radio listener...

Still keen on the idea of whether a cheap DAC would be a good idea though

I have not tried all cast or local cast. You might want to try one of the apps that supports the chomecast audio natively. I found sound quality improvement when using google play music,spotify,rhapsody or BubbleUPnp server, over using the android casting option. some apps will convert the stream to other formats some wont, not sure if that is the same thing as local cast or allcast, but might be worth a try
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 3:47 PM Post #73 of 537

ngsm13

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Currently using CCA with 3.5mm to RCA output. 
 
I'm considering purchasing the Google hardwired ethernet adapter, just because it's literally located right next to my 24-port gigabit switch and quite a distance away from my Wifi Router. 
 
What is recommended for Optical DAC? I'm looking at something as cheap as the Fiio D3, and up to the Schiit Modi 2 Uber or AudioEngine D1? Thoughts...
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 3:57 PM Post #74 of 537

codyrigg

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I'm planning to get some speakers for Christmas, and would like to add a some sort of receiver to stream music, movies, and games. 
Would I be able to use the CCA to stream all of my sound to the speakers rather than choosing what to cast? If not, can I cast youtube, netflix, itunes, foobar, and games?
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 4:48 AM Post #75 of 537

brymuse

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I think the CCA benefits from a DAC, certainly. But also: Did you make sure you turned on the "high dynamic range" option in the Chromecast software?

Hi

Yes High Dynamic Range is on. I think I'm veering towards a DAC now, to get the best out of it :)
 

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